Research in the School of Nursing and Midwifery

Research undertaken within the School of Nursing and Midwifery has an overall rubric of ‘Advancing Nursing Science’. We undertake cutting edge research that matters to health and social care users and practitioners in two main areas: Risk Abuse and Violence (RAV) and Research in End of life, Advanced illness, Complex Health and social care (REACH). We are also very active in supporting clinical academic careers for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

We are proud to be members of strong research networks, working collaboratively with a number of international research institutions, including the Universities of Bergen, Chicago Illinois, Hong Kong, La Trobe, Melbourne, Michigan, Ottawa, Tampere and others.

We welcome research students and collaborators aligned to our research programmes.

Risk, Abuse and Violence (RAV) Research

  1. Abuse and violence occurs in many forms and is an issue that affects many individuals across the life-course. These negative impacts are serious and long-term. In this research programme we undertake numerous projects that address violence and abuse, many of them focus explicitly on child protection. The issue of domestic violence is also a strong theme in this programme, with a developing theme of inpatient violence.
  2. Risk is conceived of as a broader issue than violence and abuse, operating at a societal level. It includes any high-risk situation, presentation and/or condition that results in patients, women and families requiring speciality input and/or services. This sub-theme includes vulnerable individuals or those marginalised within society through for example, their gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, mental ill health and disability.

Find out more about the Risk, Abuse and Violence Research Programme

Research in End of life, Advanced illness, Complex Health and social care (REACH)

The REACH research programme focuses on research in end of life, advanced illness, complex health, and social care. The programme stands as a pioneering research initiative housed within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Birmingham. It is our aim that REACH will become a beacon for scholars dedicated to advancing the understanding and evidence-based delivery of end of life care, complex illnesses, and the intricate intersections of health and social dynamics.

Find out more about REACH

Adventures in Research - The Nursing Research Podcast 

Adventures in Research, a nursing research podcast led by Dr Amelia Swift and Bronwyn Tarrant, is a collaboration supported by Universitas 21 Health Sciences group to provide innovation in education of health care professionals about the research process and its application. 

Find out more about Adventures in Research

Advancing Global Health through International Collaborations in Nursing and Midwifery

Global health systems are increasingly stretched, and integrated people-centred health services responsive to the comprehensive needs of people are far from reaching all. 

Nurses and midwives have a critical role in addressing these growing health system challenges and achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Our Global Health Team have partnered with national governments, provider organisations, communities and system leaders around the world to better meet people’s needs.

Find out more about Advancing Global Health through International Collaborations

Informing the design of a Home-based Online Pain-management Support System (HOPSS) for parents and children with cancer-related pain

HOPSS is a study looking at how cancer pain can be managed by children in pain and their parents.  The aim is to find out from families what pain management information they would like on an on-line digital resource (for example a website or an application for a smart device).

Find out more about HOPSS

Discharge from Palliative Care Study




The aim of this study is to understand patients’, carers’, and general practice professionals’ experiences of discharge communications from specialist palliative care. We will listen to the experiences of these groups to identify how to improve discharge communication in ways that better support patients’ and carers’ needs. 

This is a 15-month qualitative study. We will interview 30 adult patients and carers and 15 healthcare professionals (n=45). We will seek a range of experiences of discharge communication by using a maximum variation approach to sampling, including purposively recruiting people from 4-6 specialist palliative care services (hospitals and hospices) as well as 5-7 General Practices. Interview data will be analysed using a reflexive thematic approach. 

Our research team members (Dr Katharine Weetman, Professor Cara Bailey, and colleagues from the University of Warwick) will co-produce a summary of best principles for discharge communication from specialist palliative care and share this with key specialist palliative care organisations and networks. We will publish the findings in academic journals and present them at conferences.

This study/project is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) [Research for Patient Benefit (NIHR204938)]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Find out more about the Discharge from Palliative Care Study

Improving Safeguarding Outcomes After Special Guardianship or Adoption 

This project aims to improve long-term outcomes for children after Special Guardianship Order (SGO) or Adoption by developing a clearer understanding of children and families’ post-order welfare and safeguarding concerns, how they arise and are best addressed. The project will seek to identify key systemic and individual factors which, if addressed, could help families.

The project has been developed with special guardians, adoptive parents and local authorities. We are reviewing case files of children with safeguarding concerns following SGO/adoption; interviewing professionals about their experiences of safeguarding after SGO/adoption; and interviewing special guardians and adoptive parents about their child’s difficulties, experience of support/safeguarding interventions, and potential improvements.

If you are a special guardian or adoptive parent and would like to contribute